Recent Fire Damage Posts

Where Can Homeowners Go to Restore Their Fire-Damaged Residences?

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician consulting with customer The situation can feel overwhelming when your home is affected by fire damage. Call SERVPRO for effective remediation services.

SERVPRO Technicians Can Return Mount Vernon Residences to a Clean, Safe Condition Ready for Occupation Again.

Where Do Technicians Begin?

SERVPRO technicians start in Mount Vernon homes with a checklist to ensure thorough restoration, no matter the disaster. It allows our teams to carefully clean the home, remove debris, and perform other tasks as rapidly as possible. 

What Are the First Actions Technicians Take?

Fire damage restoration in Mount Vernon begins with three preparation actions:

Initial Contact – A homeowner’s call starts it all. Our operator has a set of questions that tells technicians what equipment and other resources to bring, such as generators, foggers, and cleaners. 

Inspection and Damage Assessment – The team leader inspects the home to ascertain the scope of damage from the fire and how to restore the home. 

Securing the Home – Fire can damage doors, roofs, walls, and windows. Securing the home with plywood and tarps can prevent further damage from trespassing, animal intrusions, and the weather. 

What Comes Next to Restore an Area Home?

Water Removal – Homeowners are surprised to discover that the water to put out the fire can also cause damage. Quickly removing it with pumps and extractors can reduce further damage to walls, flooring, and structural framework that the fire did not touch. 

Smoke and Soot Removal – Technicians use sponges, cloths, water, and cleaners to remove smoke and soot residues from the floors to the ceilings, and most personal property surfaces. 

Clean and Disinfect – Technicians clean and disinfect all restorable personal and structural items affected by the fire. Technicians use cleaning agents not available to the general public with industrial-grade equipment to restore the property to its pre-fire condition.

Physical Restoration – This final step is where technicians make each home look like it did before the fire. Actions include replacing carpets, hanging new wall panels, painting, and installing new plumbing. 

Call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 today to schedule a service call for your home. We are here to return your residence to its pre-fire condition as quickly as possible. 

Why Do I Need Water Damage Services After A Fire In Anacortes?

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

Living Room On Fire Contact SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 for expert fire damage service.

Anacortes Homes That Experience a Fire Almost Always Need Water Damage Help – SERVPRO Can Help

Anacortes was founded in 1879 by a railroad surveyor and is part of the beautiful Puget Sound. Located on the north shore of Fidalgo Island, it has a stunning view of the Salish Sea. But being surrounded by water doesn’t mean fires do not happen. They do, and they can be deadly.

Shouldn’t I be Worried About Fire Damage?

Most people do not think about dealing with water damage when a fire rages through their home. But firefighters use gallons of waters and chemical agents to put out the flames. Yes, you are left behind with intense fire damage in Anacortes, but there is also water intrusion to worry about.

Which Do You Deal with First?

Fire damage recovery is hard enough to deal with; water incursion makes the situation even worse. Before our crews can clean up fire residue, they need to deal with water problems first. Water used by firefighters can cause:

    •    Water collecting in wall and ceiling cavities cause structural weakness.
    •    Electrical risks.
    •    Increased risk of falls, slips, and tripping.
    •    Mold and mildew if the water sits for any length of time.
    •    Contamination from biohazards, chemicals, and toxic substances such as lead and asbestos.

SERVPRO Can Handle Both Fire and Water Damage

While removing the excess water takes precedence many times, several crews can work in different areas. It is often possible to start working on things like charred remains removal while dealing with water. You can rest assured our professional team has a plan to take care of clean up, repair, and restoration.

A fire disrupts every aspect of your life and leaves you devastated. We understand that and are here to help. We strive for minimal disruption and to provide support by dealing with your insurance directly. We do nothing without your approval.

Contact SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 for expert fire damage service.

How Can I Clean My Soot Covered Hardwood Furniture After Fire Damaged My House?

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

fire on hardwood floor Hardwood flooring and furniture can be restored after a fire. SERVPRO has the know-how to clean your belongings.

For Fire Damage Restoration of Affected Furniture Inside Your Mount Vernon Home Call SERVPRO 

Some of the most severe problems that can occur inside your Mount Vernon house after items burn are smoke-related issues. Smoke consists of partially combusted particles that can leave behind unpleasant aromas, soils, and soot residues. 

How can you tell if my hardwood furniture can be cleaned and saved? 

During fire damage restoration efforts in Mount Vernon, contents like your wooden furniture items can often be refinished and cleaned. The type of finish significantly affects the cleanability of an item and which methods we use. For example, unfinished wood can be porous, so it is not wise to clean it with water-based detergents. The extent of the damage can also be a factor affecting whether an item needs replacing or not. If your furniture was close to the heat source, the surface could have blistered. The exterior also could have been scorched or permanently stained by the smoke. 

If my furniture is salvageable, how do you clean off the soot residues? 

  • Dry Cleaning- When dealing with unfinished or unsealed wood surfaces, our SERVPRO technicians can clean your hardwood furniture with a feather duster, cloth, a cleaning sponge, or by vacuuming with a dusting tool.
  • Wet Cleaning- For finished surfaces with moderate soiling, we can use a wall and all surface cleaner or a concentrated wood oil soap.
  • Semi-Refinishing- Heavy smoke residues may require semi-refinishing of the surfaces of your hardwood furniture items. This method includes using a wood creme paste that is a solvent-based product. The cleaner can remove an ultra-thin top layer of the surface's finish.
  • Polishing- Some surfaces may require polishing to remove staining and soots that adhere well to the surface. Before applying a furniture polish or lemon oil polish, we clean all the soot off the item that we can. 

If your furniture got coated in soot residues or burnt debris, call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 24/7. 

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Can My Mount Vernon Kitchen Be Restored From a Cooking Fire?

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

fire damage in home Fire damage can be very tricky when it comes time to restore your home back. Call the team of professional from SERVPRO in Mount Vernon.

SERVPRO Can Clean and Restore Damage Done by Kitchen Fires Using Specialized Equipment and Cleaning Agents

Kitchen fires may not do as much damage as large fires but can still leave you with a mess in your Mount Vernon kitchen. Odors can quickly spread. Residue gets left on walls, ceilings, and appliances and needs removed. Our emergency mitigation handles the fire restoration necessary in your Mount Vernon home. We leave your kitchen, “Like it never even happened.”

Do I need a professional cleaner for a cooking fire?

Cooking fires in a Mount Vernon home differ from other kinds of fires. When proteins, such as meat, catch fire, the kitchen becomes coated in a fine mist invisible to the eye. These soot particles can ruin porous surfaces and leave nasty odors. There are several steps SERVPRO accredited Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) technicians follow when dealing with fire damage like this.

  • Inspect the area – this determines how far the soot and smoke have extended into the home.
  • Identify residue – more than one type of residue can exist and can call for different cleaning methods.
  • Identify surface types – different cleaning agents are used depending on the type of surface. Wooden cabinets are different than metal stoves or curtains.
  • Remove residue – capturing and cleaning the residue. A combination of wet and dry cleaning may be required depending on how the residue has bonded with the surface.

Is Fire Loss Mitigation is Crucial?

Cleaning your walls and ceilings yourself may sound like a good idea, but using the wrong cleaning material can lead to further damage. Our IICRC technicians use the proper agents to restore surfaces and tackle other problems that can occur as well.

  • Airborne particulates – air scrubbers may need to be used.
  • Immersion Cleaning – cleans non-porous items with smoke or soot damage
  • Neutralizing odors – includes thermal fogging, and hydroxyl generators

 Fire restoration is what we do best. Contact SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.

How Can I Find and Remove Safety Hazards in my House After I Suffer from Fire Damage?

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

fire damage in kitchen Let SERVPRO handle all the hard work when it comes to your Mount Vernon home fire problems.

SERVPRO Can Find and Mitigate Safety Hazards After you Have a Fire in your Mount Vernon Home

Nobody ever plans on having a fire ignite inside their Mount Vernon house, but it can happen quickly. According to statistics furnished by the Insurance Information Institute, fire departments respond to fires in the U.S. every 24 seconds, with a home fire occurring every 87 seconds.

What is a hazard?

During fire damage restoration in Mount Vernon, hazards can be defined as anything that could pose a threat or cause harm to a person, your property, or the environment. Before any work on your house begins, our SERVPRO technicians inspect your property to identify any potential safety risks.

What types of hazards can exist in my home after I have a fire?

• Overhead risks, including burnt pieces of ceiling hanging down.
• Electrical shock threats from damage to wiring.
• Slip, trip, and fall hazards due to loose debris.
• Inadequate lighting.
• Occupant or bystander safety risks during work activities.

What can you do to fix the hazards?

• Elimination/Substitution: Sometimes, our SERVPRO crew can eliminate the item causing the hazard altogether or substitute it using a safer method that can perform the same task.
• Engineering: In other cases, we can design the work activity or environment to eliminate or reduce potential safety risks.
• Administrative: During certain projects, we may be able to either train the employees to complete the work at hand in a safer way or schedule the workers in a way that helps eliminate any possible threats.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): During most restoration situations, our technicians can wear PPE that will reduce health risks by creating a barrier between the worker and the hazardous environment. For example, sometimes wearing gloves and protective clothing can protect a worker from dermal exposure to cleaning solutions.
If your house in La Conner or Concrete ever happens to be one of the nearly half-million houses in the country that suffer from a structural burn every year, call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

Fire Damage in a Mount Vernon Home can have a Very Unusual Cause

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

"We are here to help" No matter when you make the call, we have technicians who can assist you.

SERVPRO Warns you to be Cautious of the Items in your Home and Their Placement

A house fire in your Mount Vernon residence can create a significant amount of stress for your family. Depending on how much of your property becomes a charred disaster, your family might need to seek temporary shelter elsewhere. Unfamiliar surroundings often add to the uncomfortable amount of stress. Because of this, SERVPRO wants to help make recovering and getting things back to normal as simple and stress-free as possible.

Following the well-known fire prevention tips might not protect your home in Mount Vernon from fire damage in some more unusual situations. Fire does not always start with a spark or a direct flame to combustible materials. Something as benign as a transparent glass figurine or vase in a sunny window to add a dash of color can concentrate the sun enough to start a burning circle in closed curtains, a sweater hanging on a chair, or the carpet. Before placing such decorative items in the window, keep in mind how much sunlight that area of your home receives, especially in the afternoon.

Other causes of house fires include batteries, either loosely stored or in devices. When the ends of batteries touch their positive and negative ends to the same piece of metal, it can produce sparks or intense heat. This can happen with 9-volt batteries very easily because both the positive and negative ends are so close to each other. Storing these very carefully can prevent a fire. Adding a piece of tape to the ends can make them safer for longer storage. Overcharging a device can cause it to overheat, as can leaving it in a sunny location. Charge devices only as long as necessary, and place them in shady locations, avoiding the sun.

The convenience of having a pull-chain light in a closet can also cause a fire. It is easy to forget these lights, and they quickly heat the area around them to intense temperatures. Storing things in cartons, papers, and other highly combustible items can become a very costly and destructive combination. Using a battery-operated light that sticks to the interior surface of the closet can help prevent fire damage.

SERVPRO of Skagit County is always near you, including Anacortes, WA, Sedro Woolley, WA, and Burlington, WA, ready to help your family recover fast after fire damage strikes. Call (360) 873-8744 for more information about how to prevent house fires, or to start the process of restoration and rebuilding.

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The Appeal of a Reputable Fire Damage Remediation Company in Mount Vernon

12/29/2019 (Permalink)

bubbled and smoked up ceiling after a kitchen fire Many odors and residues can linger after a fire.  Contact our experienced team for effective fire damage remediation services.

Most Effective Fire Odor Removal Practices for Mount Vernon Homes

Smoke odors are a common concern after fire loss incidents in Mount Vernon homes. Though the fire itself can sometimes remain contained to specific areas of the residence, this is not always the case for the effects that can accompany it. Odors and airborne contaminants require cutting-edge equipment and potent products to address successfully.

While many solutions can reduce and remove odors and other fire damage from Mount Vernon homes, choosing the best approach is the responsibility of our project management and crew chief. During the scoping of the job, we can determine the concentrations of these destructive effects and the best places for containment barriers to limit the spread and migration of smoke damages.

Removing odors from your residence relies on the equipment our SERVPRO team uses and the physical practices we can implement as well. When our team first arrives at your damaged house, we can take note of the charred remnants of where the structure fire burned through specific materials and contents of the house. Ash and debris are significant odor catalysts and must get removed. Our technicians can shovel out this rubbish and begin projects like controlled demolition with our licensed general contractors. Eliminating sources of smoke damage odors can limit the work that deodorizing agents and tools must perform.

We have several potential options when choosing deodorization equipment. Depending on the location and the traffic, options like our ozone machines can be powerful tools for neutralizing odors over large areas like a high vault ceiling living room. Thermal and UV foggers are another reliable choice, and these get selected on their ability to penetrate porous construction materials with their generated vapor and their lightweight portability. Thermal foggers can reach more challenging areas because they are not stationary units.

No matter how challenging and harsh smoke odors can be after a fire, our SERVPRO of Skagit County team can help. We have sophisticated tools and powerful products to make harsh odors “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call today at (360) 873-8744.

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Our Experts Will Restore Your Fire And Smoke Odor Damaged Home In Mount Vernon

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Charred Remains of Kitchen Destroyed by Fire Call us at (360) 873-8744, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Reclaiming Your Home from Fire and Smoke Odor Damage in Mount Vernon

Cooking brings many in Mount Vernon great pleasure – seeing family and friends enjoy a home-cooked meal and time together. Our hectic lives can leave us less able to multi-task in our home's more relaxed atmosphere, and this can lead to accidents in the kitchen. Grease fires only take a few seconds to get out of hand, so quick thinking and a handy lid can make a huge difference in how badly your home suffers.

Your home's entire interior in Mount Vernon can smell of fire and smoke odors no matter how many candles you burn, cans of air freshener you use, or hours spent airing out the house. Calling SERVPRO gets things placed in the right direction. We can perform mitigation that corrects both fire damage and the odors that seem to overpower your nose continually.

Odors do not appear out of anything. The odors you smell come from airborne molecules that broke away from larger particles. This is why fire produces generally the same type of odor, although different things produce slightly different scents when they burn. While we clean things up using different methods, these all accomplish the same thing – ridding your home of these smoke and soot particles.

Cleaning with soap and water might seem correct when the soot feels greasy like it does with cooking or grease fires. However, special cleaning agents provide us with a much better result, including a fresh scent immediately. Some surfaces hold more soot than others. These places often remain cooler than other areas, and smoke fills such areas more densely.

Getting things cleaned up and soot-free must happen before our Odor Control Technician (OCT) can get started with fogging and neutralizing the odors. Afterward, the particles that caused odors and possible health effects remain where they may have hidden before, during the fire. This happens at the microscopic level because the fogging binds these particles and makes them much heavier.

SERVPRO of Skagit County is always near homes in Anacortes, Sedro Woolley, and La Conner. Smokey odors and the physical damage caused by fire needs mitigation as soon as possible to protect your property, Call us at (360) 873-8744, 24/7, 365 days a year.

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Fixing Unique Problems after Fire Damage Affects Your Mount Vernon Home

9/15/2019 (Permalink)

Piano with soot and fire damage on the keys of the piano. SERVPRO will help with everything from soot damage, to feather dusting when you have fire damage in your Mount Vernon home.

We will handle all your fire damage problems in your Mount Vernon residence.

Fire consumes materials within a short while necessitating tear down and rebuilding to restore the affected property to its preloss state. However, unique yet simple problems can prevent you from achieving the intended goal. Although the problems may appear mild, addressing them might not be easy unless you get help from professional fire damage restorers since they encounter such problems regularly in their line of work.

Dealing with Rust

Rust can develop after fire damage in your Mount Vernon home. Fire produces a wide range of debris, including fine ash and soot. Soot has acidic properties and tends to corrode metal items and metallic finishes on fixtures such as doorknobs and furniture stands.  Rust causes stubborn stains on fabrics such as silk, wool, linen, and even synthetic fabrics. Such stains can also damage carpets. Our SERVPRO technicians use specialized rust removers such as oxalic-phosphorous acid solution, which alter stains chemically. We also pre-clean and apply a thin oil film on metallic items to prevent rust development.

Water Stains

Water plays different crucial roles in restoring fire loss sites, from the process of quelling the flames to cleaning up.  However, water can also contribute to some of the problems you face. Water stains can be one of these problems. Such stains develop because of over wetting and appear as browning on fabrics. Our SERVPRO technicians can deal with such stains easily using peroxide water stain remover. The product works through oxidation.

Dislodging Soils That Need Mild Mechanical Action  

As smoke moves through conventional currents, soot and other residues adhere to surfaces indiscriminately. While most surfaces are easy to clean, some might are too delicate and vigorous agitation or chemical action can cause more harm. Choosing a method that removes soils effectively without damaging the underlying material can help. Our SERVPRO technicians can choose from a wide range of cleaning methods depending on the conditions including:

  • Feather dusting
  • Vacuuming
  • Compressed air blasting
  • Soda blasting

Simple problems can ruin the outcome of a rigorous restoration process. Call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 to ensure all problems are addressed. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.   

If you would like to know more about Mount Vernon, click here.

Professionals in Mount Vernon Give Fire Prevention Tips

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage can wreak major havoc in your home. Call the professionals at SERVPRO today for remediation assistance.

What You Can Expect from Professional Fire Damage Remediation in Mount Vernon

Thankfully significant residential fire losses are rare. When it happened in your Mount Vernon home, it can be a life-changing event. Successful recovery from fire requires a partnership with an experienced disaster response team. Our Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)-trained managers and technicians have a solid foundation of fire mitigation and remediation theory, on the job experience, and state-of-the-art equipment that transform post-fire chaos to “Like it never even happened.”

Water Damage Resolution is Job One

Because of the quantities of water used to limit your Mount Vernon fire damage our crews need to address that first. Water can be just as destructive to structural components and contents as fire, plus it is a major safety hazard. Slip and fall accidents and electric shock risks quickly decrease as the water evacuates. We are a full-service disaster recovery company making the transition from water to fire remediation seamless.

Secure Pack-Out Procedure for Contents

Fire damage mitigation and remediation are easier to accomplish if furnishings and personal possessions are relocated to our production facility. Our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS) creates a digital listing of the affected property, very helpful when corresponding with your insurance company. Specialized contents technicians evaluate the packed-out items’ conditions and recommend and implement efficient strategies to clean, dry, deodorize, and disinfect them.

Customized Soot Removal

Fire residues or soot are found not only in the immediate burn area but also in rooms and floors far away. Soot deposits on surfaces cooler than the smoke that carries it away on air currents or through HVAC systems. One fire can challenge SERVPRO technicians with several kinds of sooty deposits. Each kind needs cleaning products, tools, and methods to match its consistency. 

Our IICRC-trained Fire and Smoke Restoration Technicians (FSRT) are uniquely qualified to customize soot removal. Dry, ashy soot vacuums and dry sponges away. Thick, sticky soot needs loosening with wetting agents and surfactants, with agitation to facilitate wipe off. Protein-based soot from kitchen fires spreads widely, smells strong, and might need abrasive tools and products plus agitation for removal. 

SERVPRO of Skagit County has the tools, techniques, and training needed to clean up after residential fire damage. Contact us at (360) 873-8744 immediately after the firefighters release your home so we can assess, plan, and get to work.

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Fire Damage Emergency Tips

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency?
Call 1-800-SERVPRO

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Fire Damage And Restoration

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet. 

Please refer to our Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals

Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today 1-800-SERVPRO

Why Choose SERVPRO Franchise Professionals?

They’re Faster to Any Size Disaster

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are dedicated to responding immediately when you need help with a fire or water damage event. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.

Learn More

They’re Fire and Water Damage Specialists

They specialize in fire and water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have extensive training and equipment to get your property back to pre-fire condition.

  • Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician

Learn More

They Have a Restore vs. Replace Mentality

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals clean and restore your property using specialized equipment and cleaning techniques. Their “restore first” mentality reduces interruption and gets you back to your life.

Learn More

The Fire Damage Restoration Process

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals know just how devastating a fire can be. Fire and water damage can leave your house unsafe and unlivable. They’re trained to clean and restore your home with as little disruption as possible. Learn more about the fire damage restoration process.

Step1: Emergency Contact

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

Step 6: Cleaning and Repair

Step 7: Restoration

What To Do After Smoke Damage Has Happened?

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to personal property and structures. Quick action is the only way to minimize the destruction. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, IICRC, is a globally recognized organization whose mission is to establish higher industry standards. As a referral source for consumers, IICRC  certified firms are more likely to provide a faster, better service  than non-certified competitors.

Restoration costs increase and damages escalate when the cleaning process is extended. By hastening the hiring process and using an IICRC certified technician, owners  will be rewarded by having the damage stopped so repairs can begin.

What happens only minutes after the disaster?

Immediately after a fire, soot residue settles onto the property. Discoloration of porous materials is permanent, but other surfaces may be properly cleaned to remove the discoloration. Acidic soot begins staining other surfaces if not treated quickly.

Within hours all surfaces begin to suffer from fire and smoke damage. Wooden furniture may require refinishing. Metal begins to rust, pit and corrode. Painted walls begin to yellow. Clothing  can become permanently stained. And finally, flooring may require refinishing or replacement.

If left untreated, within weeks the restoration process will take longer and cost more.  Prolonged soot exposure permanently harms all surfaces and embeds in fibers. Replacement of property may be the best option at this point. The structure may continue deteriorating if not properly restored.

IICRC suggests the following steps after the incident:

  • Remember safety comes first. Do not enter the property without proper work gloves and  appropriate respiratory protection. Exposure to soot residue causes respiratory distress and other medical emergencies.
  • Bring along a few box fans. Upon entering the property open the windows and place the box fans in the windows to force out the contaminated air and dust. Proper ventilation helps to prevent further smoke damage and reduces potential injury to people.
  • Remove loose smoke contamination with a professional dry cleaning soot sponge.
  • Clean every surface with soap and water. Begin at the top and work down to the floor. Be sure to get inside cabinets and cupboards.
  • Using a high efficiency vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) Filter, vacuum upholstery and carpet. A good filtration system on a high efficiency vacuum prevents the soot from being blown back into the cleaned space. Clean or change the filter regularly.
  • Launder bedding, clothes, curtains, and other washable materials. An alkaline cleaner neutralizes the acid found in the soot. Fine materials should be professionally dry-cleaned by a dry-cleaner who is experienced in smoke damaged articles.
  • Clean the exterior walls and eaves using a water hose attached to the proper cleaner. Agitate and loosen stuck-on soot. The smoke damage to the outside of the property will continue until the soot is removed.

Though heavy residues require the assistance of professional restoration technicians, a certified technician may be contacted for any amount of smoke damage. Improper processes can further harm the property or belongings.